"You must know the battleground.
You must know the time of battle."
Sun Tzu's The Art of War 6:6:1-2
Today's Lesson: Sun Tzu's seven keys to understanding the key external conditions shaping strategic positions.
External conditions are all properties of our positions that we cannot directly control. We have three problems in dealing with these environmental conditions. First, there are a vast number of such conditions in a competitive environment. So many that all external conditions cannot be known. Our second problem is knowing which of these conditions are important to our position and which are not. Most of us fail to recognize the environmental forces that affect us. We are distracted by events that are recent and noisy while ignoring other conditions that are much more important. Finally, our last problem is knowing how to relate all these conditions to create a comprehensive picture of our situation.
Given a clear mental model for understanding which conditions are strategically important and which are not, we can quickly filter out the most relevant information from the vast amount of data in the competitive environment (...
There are hundreds of books written about "strategy." The work here is different. It teaches skills you can use daily on a personal level. The skills we offer are based on The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Its methods of "strategic agility" allow you to make better decisions more quickly about any of the choices that your job, profession, and life offer you every day.
As Sun Tzu said, competition is complex. People are usually surprised by how many profitable ideas his approach to competition offers for today's people. We offer a simple road map for to get you started. The goal is to give you a big picture overview.
Read more about first steps.
Throughout history, people have rediscovered these success principles through trial and error. They are described in similar ways in different competitive arenas from sports to politics. Sun Tzu's approach is universal. Read more about how it works.
Competition is a comparison of positions where a choice must be made. Conflict is the result of poor choices. Sun Tzu teaches us how to build up the strength of our position, but conflict always weakens our position. Sun Tzu's strategy is to identify the key points of comparison in a competitive situation. This understanding allows us to make the right decisions. Read more about competition as comparison.
Back when we could plan on staying with the same organizations for a lifetime, we didn't have to decide about our competitive position every day. That world is gone forever. Read more about why today's world requires Sun Tzu's thinking.
Warriors see every task as a personal challenge. Workers put themselves at the mercy of others. Warriors get what they deserve. Workers get what they are given. Read more about today's working warriors.
Successful people are not gifted from birth. They are ordinary people who developed a very specific set of skills. Success requires a least a little skill in nine different areas. Read more about these nine skills.
Sun Tzu's Art of War Play Book is the culmination of over a decade of work. It breaks down Sun Tzu's verses into a series of step-by-step warrior's rules. It was developed over the years by the Institute's multiple award-winning author and founder, Gary Gagliardi. Read more about the Play Book.
Sun Tzu's book is one of the most valuable works in human history. It is also one of the most difficult to understand. Much of Sun Tzu's writing is based on concepts in traditional Chinese science and philosophy with which modern readers are unfamiliar. Read more about the keys to Sun Tzu.
No book written in the conceptual ancient Chinese can be completely translated into English prose. The original Chinese has more in common with mathematical formulas than sentences. Read more about translation problems here.
Warrior Class lessons are the core of the Institute's training based on Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Warrior Class Lessons are both challenging and fun. They are also self-paced. Read more about the Warrior Class here.
Sgt. Webb says,"You can read all day, or you can get off your butt and get smart. Try our Free 3-Day Trial of Warrior Class Training!"
The best way to master Sun Tzu's methods is by using them in team exercises that address your organization's current challenges. Our live training teaches attendees to use a variety of strategic tools that produce real results. Read more about our live training programs here.